The investigation into voter fraud conspiracy theories by Arizona Republicans could last weeks longer than expected.
"The Arizona Senate-ordered recount of nearly 2.1 million Maricopa County general election ballots could stretch beyond May 14, which is when it originally was estimated to conclude," The Arizona Republic reported Saturday evening. "Senate liaison and former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said Saturday there was 'no deadline' for the audit and that the recount may need to be paused May 14 when Veterans Memorial Coliseum is reserved to host several Phoenix high schools graduations."
"The audit, headquartered at the coliseum at the state fairgrounds, would resume about a week later, Bennett said, adding that the Senate has talked with state fair officials and has permission to use the space 'for as long as we need it' after the graduations. The backpedaling comes just days after Bennett told reporters he was confident workers would wrap up by May 14, and despite plans to increase the number of ballot counters and shifts starting May 3," the newspaper noted.
The auditors have apparently not had as many volunteers as in necessary.
"Bennett said staffing from temp agencies should be in place to up that to 46 counting tables on May 3, which would more than double the number of counters from 60 to 138 per shift. Instead of two shifts per day, counters would fill three shifts, Bennett said. Bennett declined to estimate how long it might take to complete the recount once they get to that staffing level," the newspaper noted.
Also on Saturday, 12 News correspondent Brahm Resnik reported the group has reported raising $1 million, but does not have to disclose who is funding the effort.
And Republic reporter Taylor Seely posted photos of Trump supporters outside the coliseum, with a sign reading "arrest the traitors" and another declaring the Maricopa Board of Supervisors as the "enemies of the nation." Four of the five members of the commission are Republicans.